​Managing expectations at moments of market strength

Markets have been strong lately, but the growth has some advisors wondering how to manage an expanding book of business.

​Managing expectations at moments of market strength
Tanner Holtman, is an associate consultant in the office of Mike Kucherawy, a CFP with Investors Group. In a recent interview he pointed out a challenge those in his office are working through: How to balance a growing book of business with client expectations.

"Over the last month, there have definitely been some challenges in the practice. We had an exceptional year through 2013, and a good start in Q1, and our practice is beginning to grow. [But] the focus has been gearing more and more towards high-net worth individuals and families. This leaves a slight dilemma with the balance of focusing on targeting new client acquisition," says Holtman.

The challenge: Servicing the top range of the client base "but also finding the adequate time to stay true to the commitments we have made to other clients that don't fit within the range." 

According to Holtman the office hasn't yet begun to initiate an "asset amount minimum", but has instead begun to evolve a "client engagement minimum". That is, the existing book will be serviced. But there will be a new discretionary eye toward the new recruits coming in the door. Or, to update that old school-yard anthem: 'Make new (and richer) friends. But keep the old.'

"We need to know that our clients are as involved (at least emotionally) in planning for their financial future as we are. That being said, it continues to be a struggle since we have yet to have a line-up of qualified leads waiting at the office door in the morning -- so a lot of time is taken to seek them out," he says. 

Such are the challenges of making a practice work in an era when markets are hitting record highs.